Best Large Camping Tents To Elevate Your Outdoor Experience

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High ceilings, multiple bedrooms, private entrances, and plenty of space to store your gear: Just a few of the things that are waiting for you inside the best large camping tent for your next outdoors excursion...
Best Large Tent - Intro
The North Face Wawona 6 from the inside: Our Best Choice Overall – Photo from manufacturer

Tent camping gets a bad reputation: Some people say tents are cramped, claustrophobic, and uncomfortable to sleep in. We’re going to wager they’ve never had the pleasure of spending the night in a proper large camping tent.

We define the best large camping tent as one that (a) fits six or more people and (b) includes all the space and features you need to get the most out of your camping experience. In our search to find the best large shelters on the market, we’ve tested and analyzed dozens of models and found The North Face Wawona 6 to be the best large camping tent money can buy.

It’s a fantastic shelter built with high-quality materials that packs a ton of extra features for a price you’ll have to see to believe. Of course the Wawona isn’t the best large camping tent for everyone, especially large groups.

That’s because large camping tents vary quite a bit in just how big they can be. In the article below, you’ll find tents ranging from 6 person domes all the way up to 16-person mansions. For a couple and their pup, a six-person tent is more than enough space to stand up, stretch out, and sleep well every night (preferably on a large air mattress). Try fitting a family of five in that same tent, however, and things get cramped quickly.

The article that follows is our list of the best large camping tents currently available. If you’re not sure how much space you need or where to begin choosing the best large camping tent for your next adventure, you’ll also find a handy buyer’s guide down at the bottom to help you decide which tent is the right fit for you.

Right, let’s dive in!

The North Face Wawona 6: Best Large Camping Tent OverallPound for pound this is the most feature-rich large tent on the market for the best price. If you don’t need the extra space of an 8-12 person model, this tent is lacking nothing. See Review
Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent: Best Overall QualityAbsolutely bulletproof construction uses heavy-duty waterproof canvas and all stainless steel hardware. This tent will last for years and years, albeit with a considerable weight penalty. See Review
Core 12 Person Instant Cabin: Best Large Camping Tent On A BudgetTons of space, solid weatherproofing, and simplified setup at a budget-friendly price. If you’re looking for a roomy cabin-style tent that won’t break the bank, this is a solid three-season option. See Review
Columbia Mammoth Creek 10 Person TentColumbia knows a thing or two about high-tech fabric, and it shows on this highly weather-resistant cabin. A roomy 10 person model with some unique features at a great price. See Review
Nemo Wagontop 8Nemo’s unique wagontop design provides tons of interior space and a simple three-pole setup. Lifetime guarantee comes at a premium price. See Review
Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6A spacious dome-style tent made from premium materials at a great price. Rainfly doubles as a standalone awning and packs into a sweet backpack-style carrying case. See Review
REI Co-op Wonderland 6Unique tunnel shape with vertical walls provides stand up height throughout. Outstanding material quality throughout with a well-designed two-room/two-door layout. See Review
Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 12A well-rounded cabin with a proven design at a fair price. Privacy dividers, double doors, and tall ceilings make this highly livable for multiple adult campers. See Review
Nemo Aurora Highrise 6Smart frame design pulls walls beyond vertical for unparalleled shoulder space. Full coverage rainfly includes two full-length vestibules and allows windows to be left open in the rain. See Review
Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6A smart budget alternative for folks who prefer a traditional dome tent. Quick-corners system makes for one of the fastest-pitching tents on the market. See Review

Best Large Camping Tents

The North Face Wawona 6: Best Large Camping Tent Overall

The North Face Wawona 6 Review - The Bottom Line

Weight: 17 lbs (7.7kg)
Packed size: 27” x 8” x 8” (69cm x 20cm x 20cm)
Floor size: 118” x 106” (300cm x 269cm)
Peak height: 124” (315cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Dome
Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
Best for: Three season camping for couples/small families
Price: $$

Six person tents are what we consider to be the smallest of the “large” camping tents group, and there’s no better 6 person tent for the money than The North Face Wawona 6. You could certainly argue that the Wawona is the most underpriced tent on the market, especially considering all its perks. We’re arguing that it’s the best large camping tent on this list, and here’s why.

The first and most obvious is that every Wawona 6 includes a large gear garage-style entrance baked into an already low price, which has enough room to shield a few bicycles from the weather or to set up two camp chairs and relax in the shade.

The floor plan itself is very generous even for a six-person tent, with a full 102 square feet of space and six-and-a-half-foot ceilings. Materials are excellent as well, with a 150D polyester taffeta canopy, DAC MX aluminum poles, and a bulletproof rainfly.

We’ve noted before that setup is the only real downside of the Wawona 6, and as of this writing that’s still the case. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with the design, but because the rainfly/vestibule/garage combo is so large, getting it guyed out and staked down properly is especially important if you don’t want to watch your tent fly away like a kite. The garage can’t be separated from the rest of the fly, so you don’t have the option of leaving it behind to simplify things, but honestly we’d rather have it and take the time to set it up anyways, so it’s a minor complaint at best. Read our full test and review of the North Face Wawona 6…

– Best value in a 6 person tent
– Included gear garage in the price
– Excellent build quality throughout
– Garage required to setup vestibule
– Vestibule requires extra attention when pitching
– You might want more space for a larger group

Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent: Best Overall Quality

Best Large Camping Tent - Teton Sports Sierra

Weight: 108.7 lbs (49.3 kg)
Packed size: 41” x 16” x 16” (104cm x 41cm x 41cm)
Floor size: 240” x 240” (610cm x 610cm)
Peak height: 134” (340cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Bell
Occupancy: 16 (12 and 10 person also available)
Best for: Family car camping
Price: $$$

We’re big fans of old-school canvas tents for their long-wearing durability, fantastic weatherproofing, and classic charm. Teton Sports’ Sierra Canvas Bell Tent is no exception and has to be one of the coolest large camping tents on the market.

Who doesn’t want to sleep in a tent that looks like a cross between a circus tent and something you’d see outside a battlefield in Middle Earth? And as if the looks themselves aren’t cool enough, the Sierra even features both walls and floors that are completely removable, so you can convert it from a tent to a stylish cabana in two minutes flat. Just unzip both and you’re left with just the roof standing for a breezy respite from the sun.

Speaking of the floors, the Teton Sports Sierra sports some of the thickest floors we’ve ever seen in a shelter, and are rugged enough to stand up to rough terrain, rocks, wearing boots in the tent, whatever. That same “overbuilt” quality carries over to the tent poles as well, which are made from heavy-duty stainless steel, as are the bulletproof tent stakes included with every Sierra.

There’s a price to be paid for all that quality and durability though, both financially and otherwise. From a literal cost standpoint, the Teton Sports Sierra is one of the most expensive tents on our list, coming it at more than double some of our more budget-conscious picks on the list. There’s also a considerable weight penalty with the Sierra, as the heavy cotton canvas and steel frame add up to over 100 pounds between their two separate carry bags. It’s certainly a unique camping experience, but well worth the work you’ll put into hauling it around.

– Canvas is super durable and completely weatherproof
– Walls and floor are completely removable
– Bell tents get all the cool points around camp
– Expensive
– Heavy
– Single-room layout isn’t for everyone

Core 12 Person Instant Cabin: Best On A Budget

Best Large Camping Tent - Core Instant Cabin

Weight: 48 lbs (22kg)
Packed size: 49” x 16” x 11.5” (125cm x 41cm x 29cm)
Floor size: 216” x 120” (549cm x 305cm)
Peak height: 80” (203cm)
Rooms: 3
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 12
Best for: Group camping in fair weather
Price: $

Few tent layouts are as quick and convenient as the pre-attached pole/hub design of the Core 12 Person Instant Cabin. This is an instant cabin tent that’s got space for three or more mattresses but can be set up by one person in under five minutes.

The massive 18’ x 10’ floor plan is one of the largest on this list, and combined with a full 80-inches of ceiling space, the Core Instant cabin has plenty of room for about 6 campers to stretch out comfortably. We also love that the Core can be divided into three separate living spaces using the included privacy dividers, although we wish they would move one of the two doors to the side of the tent as they’re both connected to the center room as it sits.

Materials are good quality throughout, with a frame made from sturdy telescoping steel poles and both the canopy and rainfly made from fully seam-sealed PU-coated polyester. Granted, we’d like to see a thicker fabric than the 68D weight materials used here, but that’s still much thicker than several large family tents we’ve used over the years, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

All things considered, the Core Instant Cabin packs a ton of space and a few nice convenience features into a price point that’s tough to beat. If an instant cabin tent for family camping trips is what you’re after, the Core delivers in spades.

– Instant-cabin design for lightning-fast setup
– Huge floor plan with three separate rooms
– Great price
– Tent fabrics are thinner than most
– Both doors attached to center room

Columbia Mammoth Creek 10 Person Tent

Best Large Camping Tent - Columbia Mammoth Creek

Weight: 39lbs (18kg)
Packed size: 40” x 12” x 12” (367cm x 102cm x 102cm)
Floor size: 168” x 120” (427cm x 305cm)
Peak height: 78” (198cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 10 (8 and 6 person sizes also available)
Best for: Three season group camping
Price: $$

Columbia is best known for their extensive line of technical outdoors apparel ranging from hiking pants to ski jackets, but every so often they lend their high-tech fabrics and outdoor know-how to a few select tents, and we’re sure glad they do.

Our favorite by far is the Mammoth Creek 10, which is a classic cabin-style large camping tent with a ton of space, fantastic weatherproofing, and some unique touches that really make it stand out.

In terms of the floor plan, the Mammoth Creek packs a full 140 square feet of space, which can be split down the middle into two 10’x7’ rooms using the included privacy divider (plenty of space for two queen air mattresses). The ceilings are plenty tall to stand up inside the tent, and both the double front door and D-shaped side door are large enough to haul gear in and out of.

In terms of weatherproofing, Columbia didn’t cut any corners here: For starters, the tent fabric is treated with Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Shield technology for increased water repellency, all seams are fully taped, and the tent floors have a dependable bathtub-style design to keep groundwater at bay. The icing on the cake for us is the dual pop-out windows fitted to the Mammoth, which allow campers to keep their windows wide open when it’s raining for extra ventilation and (more importantly) gives them something to stare out of longingly while they wait for the sun to come back out.

Downsides here are few, but we’ll point out that fiberglass poles are what keep the cost of the Mammoth Creek down, although they are nice and thick, so strong winds shouldn’t be a major concern.

– Quality fabrics throughout
– Excellent weatherproofing
– Pop-out windows are a fun, unique touch
– Fiberglass poles throughout
– Setup takes longer than similar “instant” tents

Nemo Wagontop 8

Best Large Camping Tent - Nemo Wagontop

Weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
Packed size: 28” x 13” x 13” (71cm x 33cm x 33cm)
Floor size: 180” x 100” (457cm x 254cm)
Peak height: 80” (203cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 8 (6 and 4 person also available)
Best for: Three seasons camping with friends and family
Price: $$$

If you’ve never had the pleasure of sleeping in a Nemo camping tent before, you’re in for a treat.

Nemo are known for their premium outdoors gear, which is made from some of the best materials available, packed full of innovative technology, and backed by Nemo’s famous lifetime warranty. The Nemo Wagontop 8 checks all those boxes and then some.

The most glaring feature of the Wagontop is its unique “covered-wagon” design, which uses just three long, looping poles to create a shelter that is both incredibly spacious and incredibly tall. Moving outside of the tent you’ll surely notice the giant front vestibule of the Wagontop, which stretches another four feet beyond the main entrance for dry entry/exit in bad weather and makes for a roomy spot to store extra gear or enjoy some shade.

What’s even better is that when the weather is good, the vestibule can be rolled back to the rear of the tent, revealing a nice roomy screen porch underneath that’s a perfect hang-out spot for a few chairs and a cooler full of your favorite libations.

And yes, as you might suspect, all this technology, quality, and convenience come at a premium price. Still, the Nemo is far from the most expensive tent on our list, and if you want extra space but only need to sleep 4-5 people max, this is definitely an investment worth making.

– Tons of interior space
– Smart three-pole “wagontop” design makes for easy setup
– Gotta love that Nemo lifetime warranty
– Expensive  

Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6P Tent

Best Large Camping Tent - Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6P

Weight: 18.4 lbs (8.3kg)
Packed size: 27.5” x 17” x 10” (70cm x 43cm x 25cm)
Floor size: 118” x 100” (300cm x 254cm)
Peak height: 81” (203cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Dome
Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
Best for: Three season camping for families and smaller groups
Price: $$

If you’re looking for a roomy tent but don’t need one of the 10+ person mansions above, take a look at the Big Agnes Bunk House 6. We love the Bunk House because it’s spacious, incredibly well built, and packs a ton of convenience features into its design without being overly complicated.

As far as space goes, consider the Bunk House 6’s footprint: Inside the body of the tent you’ve got room to sleep six as well as stand-up height ceilings. Outside your front door, you’ll find room for another camper or two to sit and hang out thanks to the pole-supported vestibule and extendable sun awning.

On the tech/materials side, the Bunk House features a durable polyurethane coated polyester fly and floor, a coated polyester canopy, and sturdy DAC aluminum poles that are lightweight but built to go the distance. We found this combination to be absolutely stormproof during our recent field test of the 4P model, and would trust the 6P in pretty much any three-season weather imaginable.

Convenience features are where this tent really shines though. For instance the pole-supported rainfly/vestibule can be converted into a stand-alone shelter that’s perfect for some extra shade anywhere from the backcountry to the beach to your backyard. Other highlights include the large “welcome mat” attached below the front door to keep muddy boots and wet packs outside the tent (and off the ground), as well as the Big Agnes Bunk House’s unique backpack-style carrying bag that frees up your hands for carrying other camp essentials to and from the car.

Drawbacks to this tent are pretty minimal. You can certainly get larger tents (with multiple rooms) for less money, but few (if any) will share the outright quality of materials found in Big Agnes products. It’s also worth mentioning that the freestanding/collapsible pole design takes a little longer to set up and properly stake out than some of the other large camping tents on our list, but we’ve found the peace of mind of such a solid setup is worth the extra work.

– Big Agnes quality materials throughout
– Standalone “shelter mode” is a nice feature
– Large awning/vestibule combo for dry entry/exit
– Backpack carry bag!
– One room only
– Not the fastest setup

REI Co-op Wonderland 6

Best Large Camping Tent - REI Co-op Wonderland 6

Weight: 22.9 lbs (10.4 kg)
Floor size: 120” x 100” (305cm x 254cm)
Peak height: 75” (191cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Tunnel
Occupancy: 6 person (4 person also available)
Best for: Three season family camping tent
Price: $$

We can’t talk camping tents without mentioning the folks at REI, the the Co-op’s latest Wonderland 6 is among the best family camping tents we’ve tested, as part of our annual best camping tents field test. The Wonderland is REI’s new replacement for the much-loved Kingdom series of tents, and we’re happy to share that it’s more than filled its predecessor’s shoes. 

If you’re familiar with the outgoing Kingdom tent, much of the Wonderland will be familiar including its outstanding floor space and lofty 75” ceilings. Our testers praised the Wonderland’s unique “tunnel” shape during a recent field test, and we loved that you could easily walk straight from the front door to the back without ever bending over. 

Another major highlight we found during our time with the Wonderland was its outstanding material quality. This tent’s massive 16mm diameter poles took top honors as the thickest in our testing, and all of the fabrics from the rainfly to the floor were built to the same high standard of durability. 

As far as downsides go, we have two main complaints with the REI Wonderland. The first is its price, as the Wonderland is a bit more expensive than other 6-person models we’ve tested. Our other issue with this tent is that although it’s more than capable of staying dry in a serious downpour, its tall ceilings and vertical walls don’t bode well in heavy winds. Apart from those two issues, however, we absolutely adore this shelter, and if you’re looking for a high-quality tent that’s built to last for years of use, the Wonderland is a strong candidate. Read our full test and review of the REI Wonderland 6…

– Huge interior with open breezy feel
– Rock solid materials and construction
– Splits into two room layout with two doors
– Expensive 
– Not ideal for heavy winds

Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 12 Person Tent

Best Large Camping Tent - Eureka! Copper Canyon LX

Weight: 40 lbs (18kg)
Packed size: 29” x 11” x 11” (74cm x 28cm x 28cm)
Floor size: 168” x 144” (427cm x 366cm)
Peak height: 84” (213 cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 12 (8 person also available)
Best for: Car camping for groups and families
Price: $$

Speaking of expedition tents, here’s one of our favorite large tents from a brand that’s known for their mountaineering expertise: The Eureka! Copper Canyon LX. Yes, Eureka! does car camping too, and their Copper Canyon LX is their top-of-the-line large tent.

We love the Copper Canyon LX because it checks all the major boxes we look for in a large family-friendly tent, while also sticking to well-proven construction and materials that will last for many years.

In terms of space, the Copper Canyon is a large cabin-style layout with an optional room divider to split the shelter into two separate spaces. Each room gets its own door for entry/exit, which adds a ton of livability to larger tents like these. Cabin-style construction also means you’re getting nearly vertical walls and tall (seven-foot!) ceilings throughout the interior, so there’s plenty of room to stretch out for 4-6 people in the 12 person model.

Setup isn’t quite as fast as an “instant” cabin, but it’s still quick and convenient with pre-attached hubs (you’ve still gotta put the poles together), and color-coded poles. Ultimately we prefer this design to the pre-attached/hinged pole setups of true instant cabin tents, as the hubs themselves are common failure points that are somewhere between difficult and impossible to repair when they break.

We’ve got two complaints with the Copper Canyon we’ll share here: First, the poles are a mixture of metal and fiberglass (the roof uses fiberglass poles), and we would prefer to see aluminum poles throughout the frame at this price. Our second complaint is with the rainfly: While it does a great job of keeping water out, there’s no extended vestibule, awning, or other “bonus feature” built into the Eureka Copper Canyon’s fly. That limits your gear storage options to either inside the tent or inside your vehicle, and we’d prefer to have somewhere to stash the wet stuff outside the door.

– Roomy cabin-style design with vertical walls and tall ceilings
– Two-room/two door layout
– Durable materials and solid waterproofing
– Poles are steel/fiberglass rather than aluminum
– Simple rainfly offers no exterior gear storage options

Nemo Aurora Highrise 6P

Best Large Camping Tent - Nemo Aurora Highrise 4

– Weight: 18.9 lbs (8.6 kg)
– Floor size: 120” x 100” (305cm x 250cm)
– Peak height: 77” (196 cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
– Best for: Three season family camping tent
– Price: $$$

It’s not every year the folks at Nemo release an all-new camping tent, so naturally we couldn’t resist bringing the new Nemo Aurora Highrise into the field for our recent camping tent field test. In typical Nemo fashion, the Aurora didn’t fail to impress, and quickly became one of our favorite tents of the year.

Nemo’s biggest innovation with the new Aurora is the addition of two extra poles across the roof, which stretch its walls out beyond vertical for unparalleled shoulder space inside the tent. Nemo also took full advantage of this unique shape by adding windows to either side of the Aurora Highrise, which, with the rainfly in place, are fully protected from the elements and can be left open in the rain for added views and ventilation without letting moisture inside the shelter. 

Another highlight of our time with the Aurora was its vestibule, which provides outstanding exterior storage for gear outside each of the tent’s two doors, but can also be staked out to create a sun awning when the weather is nice. We enjoyed spending time under the awning on sunny days, and found it added considerable value and livability to the tent overall. 

Price will be the main obstacle for most campers considering the Aurora Highrise, as this tent typically runs around $500 when not on sale. We’ll also note that although we found the material quality of the Aurora to be another strong suit of the tent, this is a new model in Nemo’s lineup, and therefore its long-term durability is still relatively unknown. We found the high-tension design of the two extra roof poles put a fair amount of stress on the tent’s canopy, but we also never managed to break anything during our time with the Aurora, so if first impressions are anything to go by, we expect longevity to be another highlight of the mode. 

– Innovative frame design boost interior space
– Shielded windows can be left open in the rain
– Outstanding rainfly/vestibule design
– Expensive
– Longterm durability is untested

Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6

Best Large Camping Tent - Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6


– Weight: 13.8 lbs (6.3 kg)
– Floor size: 119” x 106” (302cm x 269cm)
– Peak height: 68” (172cm)
– Rooms: 1
– Shape: Dome
– Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
– Best for: Three season family camping tent
– Price: $

Kelty has a well-earned reputation for making high-quality shelters on a shoestring budget, and the Discovery Basecamp is without a doubt the best deal they’ve offered to date. For well under $200, you’re getting a spacious and well-made tent from a reputable brand, but value isn’t the only thing the new Basecamp has going for it. 

During our team’s recent outing with the Discovery Basecamp, we all lauded its quick and easy setup, as this shelter benefits from Kelty’s “Quick Corners” system, one of the fastest and most intuitive pole sleeve designs on the market. The Basecamp can easily be pitched solo in well under 5 minutes, so if convenience is high on your priority list, you can’t go wrong here. 

We’ll also give Kelty the nod for packing an impressive amount of living space into the new Basecamp. It doesn’t have the tallest ceilings or the largest floorplan, but if this is your first plus-sized shelter, we have no doubt you’ll be impressed by its expansive interior.

In terms of drawbacks, this is still a budget tent, so a few shortcomings are to be expected. The Basecamp sticks to a single-door layout, and doesn’t include a storage vestibule of any kind, but considering it’s still a car-camping tent at heart, you can always stash your extra gear inside your vehicle in a pinch. The Basecamp isn’t nearly as the massive as the Core Instant Cabin above, but if you’re looking for a big tent on a small budget, this Kelty should be at the top of your list. Read our full test and review of the Kelty Discovery Basecamp 6…

– High quality on a shoestring budget
– Outstanding interior space and tall ceilings
– Quick and easy to pitch solo
– Not quite as large as more expensive 6P models
– Thinner materials and all fiberglass poles
– Footprint is highly recommended

Buyers Guide: Large Camping Tents

All of the shelters that made our list for the best large camping tents share a handful of particular traits that make them worth owning. Some perform better than others, some cost less than others, but they’re all spacious, reliable in the rain, and packed full of features that make them extra livable in the wilderness.

Best Large Tent - Buying-guide
The Teton Sports Sierra: Our Highest Quality Choice – Photo from manufacturer

Whether you’re not sure which tent is your best choice from the list above, or are considering another large family tent that we didn’t include, here are the criteria we use to determine whether or not a tent is worth buying. A tent should be chosen wisely, as it is certainly among the most important items on your camping checklist!

Floor Size

Because large camping tents range so widely in overall size, the amount of floor you need largely depends on both (a) the number of people who will be sleeping in your tent, (b) what they’ll be sleeping on, and ( c) how much extra space you want to move around and/or hang out in during the day.

Best Large Tent - Floor size
The Core 12 from the inside: A lot of space and height – Photo from manufacturer

Keep in mind the size of any tent is described in the number of people who can fit inside (we’re talking packed in head to toe), not the number of people who can fit inside comfortably. To determine your ideal floor size, measure your planned sleeping layout for each room (one queen mattress, two twin mattresses, two sleeping pads, etc.), and make sure you’ve got enough room left over for any gear, chairs, or tables you want inside the tent as well. Generally speaking, tents up to four-person models are ideal for two campers, and larger tents comfortably sleep about ⅔ the number of sleepers advertised.

Center Height

Center height is important for large camping tents because it determines whether or not we can stand up without hunching over once inside the tent.

We recommend looking for tents with center heights well above 6 feet, even if your tallest camper is only 6’1”. That’s because “center height” only measures the height in the highest part of the tent. Most tents taper down to some degree toward the walls and doors, so you want some extra headroom to allow for that.

Weight And Packed Size

The North Face Wawona 6 packed – Photo from manufacturer

Because tents this size are intended for car camping only (meaning you won’t be carrying them several miles into the backcountry), weight and packed size aren’t particularly important. As long as you’ve got enough room at home to store it, and enough room in your vehicle to transport it, the weight and packed size of your tent aren’t a major factor here.

With that being said, we’ll point out that some tents are much larger and heavier than others. If you’re considering a large canvas tent, for instance, be prepared to haul around a shelter that’s well over 70 pounds, or make sure you invite your burliest friend along for the trip to give you a hand.


Cabin-shaped tents are by far the most popular in this category, and for good reason. Their high ceilings and near-vertical walls provide much more interior space than your typical dome or wedge shape, which is important when you’re sharing the space with multiple other campers.

Best Large Camping Tent - Shape
The Big Agnes Bunkhouse: An ideal shape for rough conditions.

Really the only drawback of a cabin tent is that its tall, flat walls have a tendency to trap wind more than an aerodynamic dome-shaped tent, which limits its performance in serious storms.

Dome-shaped tents can still offer plenty of interior space themselves though, so if you’re planning on camping in very windy areas, we recommend considering a more rounded shape with plenty of guy-out points.

Seasonality/Weather Protection

In terms of seasonality, most tents fall under either the “three-season” or “four-season” banner.

The vast majority of campers will want a three-season tent, as these shelters are designed to handle everything but serious snows and below-freezing temperatures. That includes sunny days, rainy days, windy days, whatever.

If you are considering a large camping tent for use in seriously cold temperatures or deep snow, you’ll need a four-season tent. Three-season tents are made to focus on delivering the maximum amount of ventilation in the hot summer months, so they’re typically not safe to use in these conditions without some serious winter gear and/or a tent heater of some kind.

Number Of Rooms

The number of rooms you’ll want in your tent depends on how many people are planning to sleep inside it.

If you’re just camping with one other person (and maybe a dog or two), consider either a large one-room or a two-room tent. Either of these options will give you plenty of space to stash a queen-sized mattress, while also providing enough room at the front of the tent for you to hang out, get dressed, or pass the time while it’s raining out.

Best Large Tent - Number of rooms
The Core 12 and its massive rooms – Photo from manufacturer

As you go up in the number of sleepers from there, how many rooms you need depends on how much room each sleeper needs for an enjoyable night. This is also where convenience features like privacy dividers come into play, especially when camping with several adults who will appreciate a little extra privacy for sleeping, changing clothes, etc.


Durability generally comes down to two factors: Tent fabrics and tent poles.

Durable fabrics are important for large camping tents because they tend to see more foot traffic than smaller tents, and often have to stand up to the rigors of children and pets as well. Look for tents with highly durable fabrics, which are measured in a unit called deniers or “D” for short. A tent with a 200D polyester canopy will outperform one with a 150D polyester construction and so on.

In terms of poles, the best tent poles out there are typically made from light and durable aluminum, and come from recognizable name brands like DAC or Easton.

Steel poles are also highly durable, but typically weigh much more than comparable aluminum designs. Steel poles are common in large camping tents because they can afford to be bulkier and heavier, and have the added bonus of helping to keep the overall cost of a tent down as well.

Fiberglass poles are typically the least expensive and least durable of the bunch, but they aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker, either. Many high-quality tents from Columbia, Kelty, and others will use thicker, heavy-duty fiberglass poles to keep both cost and weight down without sacrificing too much in terms of strength. Be extremely wary of smaller diameter fiberglass poles, especially in high-stress areas of a tent’s frame.

Ease Of Set-up

Typically when we set up a large camping tent, we’ve got at least one extra pair of hands with us to help. That’s not always the case though, so we recommend looking for a tent that can be set up with one person if need be.

Best Large Camping Tent - Ease of Setup
The Kelty Discovery Basecamp’s “quick corners” system is one of the quickest and easiest to set up on the market. 

Aside from that, if the quickest and easiest setup possible is a high priority for you, you may want to consider an “instant cabin tent” option. Instant cabin tents typically use a system of pre-attached poles and hubs which only require you to unfold your tent, then raise its walls using telescoping poles.

Instant tent designs tend to be more failure-prone than traditional pole-and-sleeve or pole-and-hub designs (they have more moving parts), but it’s a risk many campers are willing to take for the added convenience.


With these characteristics in mind, we found The North Face Wawona 6 was the best large camping tent overall. Its top-shelf materials, large interior space, and extended vestibule/gear garage all make for a fantastic camping experience for groups of 2-3 that want to stretch out and enjoy their stay in the backcountry.

Best Large Tent - Conclusion
The North Face Wawona 6 – Photo from manufacturer

Of course if you’re camping with a larger group or want a tent you can split into multiple rooms, we highly recommend an 8-person or larger model like the Nemo Wagontop 8 or the Core Instant Cabin if you’re shopping on a budget.

And, if you’re looking for a truly unique “big tent” experience, there’s just nothing quite like a large canvas bell tent like the Teton Sports Sierra. Its old-school craftsmanship and bomb-proof construction are some of the highest quality you’ll ever see, and well worth the asking price.

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